Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
Run Time: 2h 12 min
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
It’s the year 1926, and Gellert Grindelwald is causing chaos and fear in Europe. During that same year, we see Newt Scamander, a British wizard who goes to New York with a case full of magical creatures to release one in its natural habitat. After an incident in which one of Newt’s creatures, a niffler, escapes his case and runs into a bank and even though Newt manages to wrangle him up he loses his case in the process. Now, with the help of an Auror named Tina, Newt must find his fantastic beasts so they don’t wreak havoc on the city.
Newt Scamander is a wizard from London on a quest to find and understand magical beasts. Currently, he has a suitcase with these creatures to study them and to write a book about them. Porpentina (Tina) Goldstein was an Auror for the MACUSA, however she lost her licence after an incident with a Muggle, or a No-Maj in America. After encountering Newt, she attempts to get her licence back. Jacob Kowalski is a No-Maj who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After failing to receive a loan to start a bakery, Jacob is dragged into a magical adventure.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first film I remember following from the announcement of the film, through the development, and all the way to the very first trailer and the release of the film. I was quite ready for another story in the Wizarding World franchise and I can tell you my expectations for this film were quite high. I still remember loving it the first time I watched it and that hasn’t changed with the subsequent viewings. I think the first thing this film really does well is finding ways to separate itself from Harry Potter yet embed itself deeply into the lore and the established timeline of the Wizarding World. The next thing I think is great about the film is the story. Since the idea of this film is partially based on a textbook that Harry Potter used at Hogwarts I’m still surprised how well they crafted a narrative around a magizoologist who goes to New York and keeps an audience invested throughout. This film has so many twists in the story and interesting plot developments with many creative ideas and ways to build the world even further. I really like the way the story unfolded and J.K. Rowling did a great job in her first time as a screenwriter in terms of pacing and balancing her multiple storylines.
The characters themselves are all very different from our protagonists in Harry Potter and that is a great choice. Newt ( as played by Eddie Redmayne) is the most reluctant hero I have ever seen as he tries to constantly avoid confrontation and is much more comfortable with his creatures than most people. Still, Newt can be kind, smart and he is brave at times as well. Tina ( as played by Katherine Waterstone) is a former Auror looking to get her job back and along the way, she starts to let down her guard and we see she is a bit awkward yet confident and decently resourceful as well. Jacob ( as played by Dan Fogler) is the other stand-out as he is the funniest character and the most loveable. He is a No-Maj ( Muggle) who gets brought along this journey accidentally but who begins to bond with the others and show his worth throughout. The action in this is also quite well done and after the completion of the Harry Potter series I am just glad to see more wand duels. The beasts themselves range from some cute and cuddly creatures to some scary-looking beasts but they all seem good-natured and the special effects on them make them look quite real. All in all, this is a fantastic film that I loved and will probably watch many more times in the future. I would definitely recommend this to any Harry Potter fan as this was made for them but I would also say this is a good introduction to the Wizarding World for anyone who hasn’t discovered it yet.
For my first time viewing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was amazing. It has everything you could want from a movie in the Harry Potter world. It has magic, some light politics, crazy events, and magical creatures.
To start, there’s only one real negative, and that was the satisfaction for some of the deaths in the movie. Some characters deserved a more gruesome end. I guess on a less morbid note, I wish we got more characterization for the opposition. I wanted to learn more about the Second Salem Movement and how they got to this point.
Anyways, positives, because this movie was great. For one, acting was on point. Eddie Redmayne did well and clearly have a lot of fun in his role. The way he moved and talked was smooth and helped with the immersion of the world. Besides the protagonist, the other characters had some nice moments as well. I enjoyed Tina’s presence and how she influenced the plot. I appreciated the bounds Queenie and Jacob were pushing with their relationship. All in all, the characters acted well in their respective roles. Besides the characters, the plot was great too. Having essentially two parallel plots was interesting, and I enjoyed the way that it ended and all the reveals. Finally, the magical creatures themselves were a great addition. Although it was a given that there would be magical creatures, I enjoyed all the roles they played and how they helped Newt. It reinforces Newt’s ideas about co-existing with these creatures.
Overall, this was a wonderful way back into the wizarding world. From the fun characters, to interesting plots, to cool twists, and fantastical creatures, this movie has it all for an adventure in the world of Harry Potter, in a time before the Boy Who Lived. Definitely recommend giving this a watch if you can.
Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them is a great movie set in the world of Harry Potter. I thought our characters were awesome, and the story was really good. I was a little bit worried if the story was going to be weak at points without a book to fall back on, but it doesn’t really ever lull or get boring. It’s fairly high-paced, and it takes us into a brand new side of the Wizarding World.
First things first, the beasts are amazing. The different species we see, how they live and interact, and their abilities are really cool and while some of them are straight out of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, I loved the creation of new beasts as well. They cause issues for Newt and Jacob all throughout, and it is hilarious. This is movie gets dark at a couple points, and moments with the beasts help relieve that tension and keep it inside the lines of “PG’ and the “Family” genre. The beasts play a major role in our underlying plot as well. We have our main vein of events that are occurring in broader New York, and the issues there. But then we have Newt trying to collect more beasts and save them for the poor futures that await them. Watching these plot lines interact and build on each other is great, and it helps keep the movie entertaining. Due to the amount of stuff that occurs in this movie, and the dealing storylines, we don’t have to worry about a story being stretched too far or running out of content. They flow at a good pace, and they will hold your attention for the entire 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Newt and Jacob are some of my favourite Wizarding World characters that aren’t named Harry, Ron, or Hermione. Although they have nearly nothing in common, it’s quite entertaining and comical to watch our protagonists bond. The writers do a great job of making you fall for these guys, and it makes those emotional moments that much stronger. You want them to succeed because they are liable characters, but in the same breath, I thought the writers did a great job with our antagonists too. They are crafted in such a way that you aren’t always sure where you stand. Are you against them, are you okay with why they do what they do, or are you stuck right in-between? It’s this kind of grey area that makes for a great villain, and I can’t wait to watch our characters progress further down the franchise.
Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them is a super entertaining movie with some great characters. Anytime we get to return to the world of magic it’s a treat and this is no different. The plot is brand new, but I loved that some risks were taken by exploring parts of the Wizarding world we had never seen. From the USA to the absurd amount of beasts, we learn a ton about the world surrounding the great Newt Scamander.